[ adverb oh-ver-nahyt; adjective, noun oh-ver-nahyt; verb oh-ver-nahyt ]
See synonyms for: overnightovernightedovernightingovernights on Thesaurus.com

  1. for or during the night: to stay overnight.

  2. on or during the previous evening: Preparations were made overnight.

  1. very quickly; suddenly: New suburbs sprang up overnight.

  1. done, made, occurring, or continuing during the night: an overnight stop; an overnight decision.

  2. staying for one night: a group of overnight guests.

  1. designed to be used on a trip or for a journey lasting one night or only a few nights.

  2. intended for delivery on the next day: overnight letters; an overnight package.

  3. valid for one night: The corporal got an overnight pass.

  4. occurring suddenly or within a very short time: a comedian who became an overnight sensation.

  1. Informal. an overnight stay or trip: Our daughter had an overnight at a friend's house.

  2. Informal. a permit for overnight absence, as from a college dormitory: She had an overnight the night of the prom.

  1. the previous evening.

verb (used without object)
  1. to have an overnight stay or trip: We'll overnight in Denver, then fly on to San Diego.

Origin of overnight

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at over-, night

Words Nearby overnight

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use overnight in a sentence

  • The Annandale men deferred reply till the morrow, and slipped away to their homes overnight.

    King Robert the Bruce | A. F. Murison
  • Our horses, which we had picketed in the open overnight, we saddled and tied out of sight in the brush.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • Anoint the face with this, leave it on twenty or thirty minutes, or overnight if convenient, and wash off with warm water.

  • Cousin had regained his self-control overnight and outwardly appeared to be thoroughly composed.

    A Virginia Scout | Hugh Pendexter
  • Every time your eminence wants some, advise me overnight or the same morning, and I will conform to his desire.

    Balsamo, The Magician | Alexander Dumas

British Dictionary definitions for overnight


  1. for the duration of the night: we stopped overnight

  2. in or as if in the course of one night; suddenly: the situation changed overnight

adjective(ˈəʊvəˌnaɪt) (usually prenominal)
  1. done in, occurring in, or lasting the night: an overnight stop

  2. staying for one night: overnight guests

  1. lasting one night: an overnight trip; an overnight bank loan

  2. for use during a single night: overnight clothes

  3. occurring in or as if in the course of one night; sudden: an overnight victory

  1. to stay the night

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012